J.K. Rowling has announced Pottermore – a free-to-use website, which builds an online experience around the reading of her Harry Potter books. The project is partnered by Sony.
The announcement today, June 23, was heralded by the revealing of the website’s name via an online search for its letters, and a ‘coming soon’ holding page which received over a million visits within 36 hours of launching, it is claimed.
For this collaborative project, J.K. Rowling has written extensive new material about the characters, places and objects in the stories, which will inform, inspire and entertain readers as they journey through the storylines of the books.
Pottermore will later incorporate an online shop where people can purchase exclusively the Harry Potter eBooks, in partnership with J.K. Rowling’s publishers worldwide, and is ultimately intended to become an online reading experience, extending the relevance of Harry Potter to new generations of readers, while still appealing to existing fans.
As the Pottermore Shop develops, it is intended that it should include further products designed specifically for Harry Potter fans, offering a potential outlet for Sony products and services related to Pottermore.
In keeping with Harry Potter’s international appeal, the site will launch in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, with more languages to follow.
J.K. Rowling commented, “I wanted to give something back to the fans that have followed Harry so devotedly over the years, and to bring the stories to a new digital generation. I hope fans and those new to Harry will have as much fun helping to shape Pottermore as I have. Just as I have contributed to the website, everyone else will be able to join in by submitting their own comments, drawings and other content in a safe and friendly environment – Pottermore has been designed as a place to share the stories with your friends as you journey through the site.”
Pottermore (along with the Pottermore Shop) will be open to all users in October 2011. From today, June 23, fans can submit their email addresses on Pottermore.com in order to be contacted by the site following the opening of registration on July 31, Harry’s birthday.
Also on that date, an online challenge will be launched, whereby the first million people to complete their registration will gain early entry into the website, and help put final touches to the experience.